91 inmates from Somalia’s Mogadishu Central prisons were released on Thursday June 29 thanks to a presidential pardon.
President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed Farmaajo ordered the release of the ex-convicts as part of activities marking the country’s independence day celebration which falls on July 1.
The president in May this year set up a 9-member commission to look into the state of prisons. They forwarded recommendations among which was for the president to pardon a number of prisoners held for misdemeanor.
According to media reports, the released persons are those held for petty crimes. Most of those pardoned were serving prison terms for debts ranging from $20 dollars to $300 dollars to 7 grams of gold.
Most African governments have often freed a section of prisoners as part of independence day celebrations. Gambia’s Adama Barrow did same early this year and the Zambian government also recently embarked on a similar move. Most African prisons are crowded give the slow pace of justice delivery across the continent.